The lay of the land was drastically altered on Tuesday night at the WWE Draft, and as a result, a number of matches this Sunday at WWE Battleground have become significantly more intriguing.
Darren Young could capture the Intercontinental Championship and bring it home to Raw, Zack Ryder has the opportunity to steal the U.S. Title for the blue brand, and the WWE Championship itself hangs in the balance of both rosters in the main event.
But one match-up that has been seriously shaken up as a result of the draft is the six-man tag team match between The New Day and the Wyatt Family.
We know that the tag team champions are heading to Raw together, but Braun Strowman will be separated from the pack while his Wyatt Family cohorts head to SmackDown Live. The fact that they have been broken up may be an important factor at Battleground.
Prior to the draft, it was really anyone’s match, but now things seem to be leaning toward The New Day, since they’ll be the only team to reap the benefits as a faction after it’s all said and done.
Before you go all in with The New Day as your pick, however, you have to consider how the Wyatt Family still have plenty more to gain from their encounter than the champions. After all, the titles are not up for grabs; these competitors will be laying it all on the line for bragging rights.
Though the story of this feud has seen the Wyatt Family dominate consistently, with several inclinations that Xavier Woods has been entranced by Bray Wyatt’s mesmeric charm, The New Day are still about to shatter Brian Kendrick and Paul London’s record for longest title reign.
The only thing that really stands in their way right now is each other, and with Wyatt and Erick Rowan being shipped off to SmackDown Live, Sunday’s Battleground will be the last opportunity for Wyatt to use Woods’ hypnotic trance for his own benefit.
The likelihood of a storyline in which Woods is fully possessed by Wyatt to the point where he turns heel on The New Day seems awfully unlikely if they’re on separate rosters, so The New Day seem to be in the clear at this point, at least after Battleground anyway.
The Wyatt Family is the team in real danger here.
Wyatt might be one of the biggest acquisitions on SmackDown Live, but despite his many unparalleled characteristics, he has been overlooked before. For one, he’s been on the roster for three years now and he’s yet to capture singles gold, or emerge victorious from a high-stakes feud.
With Ambrose, Styles, Cena and Orton set to take over the main event scene, there’s no telling if Wyatt will be able to take a spot at the top of the card during the next chapter of his career. He’d make a phenomenal heel main-eventer, similar to that of an even more sinister CM Punk in 2009, but he’s not exactly going to get there if he starts off his run with a loss to The New Day.
Not to diminish the champions, but they are a comedy act — Wyatt should be at a much higher level than they are by now. A win heading into the inaugural week of the brand extension would give him the desired momentum to secure one of those top spots on SmackDown Live.
As for Rowan and Strowman, any fan of these guys should prepare themselves for the possibility that they’ll be lost in the shuffle as soon as Battleground ends. Assuming that Rowan will split off from Wyatt as well, the two would be lucky to find themselves in mid-card purgatory as solo stars.
It’s not something that you’d wish on any wrestler, but it is a very real possibility for these two behemoths, neither of whom have found a place for themselves sans Wyatt before. Rowan has attempted to do so in the past, but the best thing that ever happened to him was rejoining the family.
If either of these men are to stand a chance on their own, then much like Wyatt, they’d benefit tremendously from a win over the current tag team champions to send them in the right direction.
The Wyatt Family have been struggling for a long time to make an impact, especially with the travesty that was Rowan’s burial at the hands of The Rock at WrestleMania. Now that some, if not all, of them are going their separate ways, they should be afforded the chance to hit the ground running and carry a win into Raw or SmackDown Live, respectively.
The New Day will bounce back from the loss unscathed, and if the Wyatt Family can go out with a win, then it means they can come back even stronger at some stage down the line.